Do you ever miss the way you viewed the world as a child?
The way you believed everything was as simple as good and evil, light and dark, right and wrong.
The way adults seemed to have it all together and a career seemed like a lifelong adventure.
The way all problems could be solved by a hug from your mom, and everything seemed fixable with time.
The way you believed people were happy and content and that happiness could be more than a fleeting sensation- a temporary lapse in reality.
The way your friends would be your friends forever, your hobbies were lucrative enough.
The way you actually felt so proud of your achievements instead of struggling in the rat race.
The way food was just sustenance and not calories that had to be counted.
The way boys were just friends and not foregin territory to be conquered.
The way you just simply lived in the moment, without needing to worry what the future would hold, the way you were generous with your smiles, the way you placed implicit trust in others, the way you simply were.
I wonder, is this cynicism a rite of passage they forgot to mention? As the clock strikes 12 on our childhood, does the world as we see it dissolve? Or is it a steady, continuous process of irreversible corruption that robs us forever? I think it’s a corrosive combination of both. The slow, viperlike disillusionment corroborated by explosive instances that shatter our reality and leave us hunting for the miniscule pieces years later, left with the remnants of the jagged glass edges of our souls.
I tried to pinpoint, when exactly does it all fall apart? But that can't be generalized. Everyone has their own journey, with some reaching their rock bottom ages before. The process is like the fraying of your favourite pair of denims- it starts out as a slight tear in the fabric one fine day, and you carelessly ignore it. And then a week later you discover a small hole out of the blue. Sometimes your mom will spot it and sew it up, and you’ll be glad it's alright. But sometimes the threads have a mind of their own, maybe reminiscing about their ancestors at the mercy of the Three Furies, and before you know it, the jeans will be beyond repair.
It’s like a switch you turn on but are never able to fully turn back off. And some people don’t want to turn it back off. They believe they're better off knowing all they do, rather than remaining naive believers, and some part of me does agree. As comforting and reassuring it is to view the world with gorgeous rose tinted glasses, people who do are living a lie.
That’s not to say when our worldview shatters it’s all terrible. Great, amazing, heartwarming things are aplenty- but nothing has that innocence that oozed from our every pore, the naive beliefs that we clung to and hope that cocooned us safely.
You can call me cynical, and I won't deny it. But maybe cynicism is simply a shield for someone who doesn’t want to allow themselves to hope too much, for fear of it all crashing down in the worst way.
You can call me scared, and I won't deny it. But maybe, fear is all-consuming and destroys your rationality.
You can call me conflicted, and I won’t deny it. But maybe, conflict keeps you sane, keeps you thinking, keeps you awake.
You can call me resigned, but I will deny it. Because underneath all this pessimism and skepticism, some part of me still longs for that perfect daydream, still dreams of change, still is consumed by overwhelming nostalgia of days bygone.
Oh, well. Maybe the naive are called so for a reason.
Author: Ananya Chaure
Editor: Arushi Dubey